November 9, 2009

The Mondays: "V" Marks The Spot

Is anyone else still watching Flash Forward? I'm not. I asked my waiter for the check after the third or fourth episode, whichever one introduced the imprisoned Nazi. The show isn't terrible, but it's not mesmeric either. My apathy towards it stems from that somewhat snide cliché: I liked the book better.

So Flash Forward is out, but instead of using that hour of reprieve to write, I may end up watching another network TV attempt at sci-fi. I'm of course referring to the 80s rehash, V. I taped the premiere and watched it over the weekend. While not blown away, it's got potential. And since I never really got to see the original mini-series as a kid, but only learned about the lizard-like aliens through schoolmates who got to watch it, the new iteration gives me a chance to see if I want to hop on the bandwagon.

There is a nagging sense, however, that this is not a show I should get attached to over the long haul. It's only one episode old and I've already read rumblings of it soon being canceled. I guess it took a while for this show to make it to air for whatever reason, and after only a few episodes shot, it's being retooled and reshot for the remainder of its fledgling season. Maybe it's for the best and the "new and improved" V will be even more watchable. Or, it could go the way of Heroes--another show I have stopped watching--and find the nearest shark to jump.

V's cast looks solid. It's got Morris Chestnut, who is an underrated and under-utilized actor if ever there was one. There's the blond doctor from Lost, who I thought did a bang up job during her stint on the island, and I'm optimistic for her performance on this one. And I have my fingers crossed that there will be more of the guy from Firefly. Perhaps if the show is on long enough, and is worth watching, I might learn the actual names of these cast members.

As for the aliens, they are apparently evil, which is hardly a shocker. Choosing Scott Wolf as their human poster boy though ... that was a bit of a shock--fans of Party of Five, I guess. And I'm personally thankful the show didn't tease that out beyond the pilot episode, because it would have hardly been shocking to learn aliens are out to destroy humanity. I just hope that the show provides a unique twist on the admittedly banal premise. The writers don't have to reinvent the wheel here, just make it interesting.

I'll try to keep my hopes up, but my cynical side is telling me that it's nothing more than a cheap ploy to lure Battlestar Galactica fans in with another antique franchise. A little light of truth to the producers: Scott Wolf is no James Bamber. Besides, the makes of Battlestar already have another show of their own lined up to hook that crowd. And just because salvaging a decades old sci-fi franchise from the proverbial tar pits worked once before, that doesn't mean it'll work again. The Bionic Woman and Knight Rider remakes were both examples of how some stuff from the 70s and 80s should stay in their respective eras.

So, with cautious optimism I wait to see what this show will offer. What are your thoughts, if any, on this show's prospects?

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